Media personality Penny Lebyane has opted to take legal action against e.tv after a messy exit from breakfast show, Sunrise. She’s been with the show for about three years. Sunrise has been replaced by a new show, Morning Edition.
Contrary to what’s been reported, Penny was not fired but she instead says she was treated unfairly. “Fired by who and why? Now people are asking me what happened. It is making me look I absconded from work,” Penny says. After three years on the show, she says her contract ended in September 2017. She says she kept pestering management for a written contract because she was not going to terms she did not understand. “They decided to keep me on as a freelancer for six months, and my contract ended in March,” she says. It seems neither two parties will admit wrong doing that led to the dramatic turn of events that saw her exit being discussed on social media. She alleges that many others who work for the channel do not have contracts.
Mark Rosin, Chief Operating Officer for eMedia Investments says: “e.tv looked at changing the morning show completely. Part of this change involved a new production company, new set and new presenters. e.tv has had a good working relationship with Penny and has attempted to be as sensitive as possible under the circumstances.”
However, that is not how the former Metro FM radio DJ feels. She says while freelancing on the show, she found out about restricting plans but kept on showing up for work even when she did not know the details of the restructuring. “When my contract ended in March, I kept on asking for a contract but I was not given one, nevertheless I still showed up for work and at the beginning of April I even submitted an invoice because my fee is standard.”
Mark says this is not true. “Penny had a contract with e.tv which expired on 31 March 2018. When asked if she was happy to extend the contract for a month, Penny unfortunately said she had family obligations that conflicted with business operations and therefore the company opted to utilise another contractor.”
She says her last day at work was on the 13th of April when things started getting really ugly. “I was told you can’t go on air because you do not have a contract,” she says. Three days later when she pitched for work she didn’t gain access to the premises as per usual.
“After the end of her contract on 31 March 2018, Penny arrived on set without permission or authorisation while the company attempted to resolve the matter with her in a dignified manner. She will be paid up to and including the date that she last appeared on the show even though her contract ended on 31 March 2018,” Mark promises.
The station says it has had correspondence with Penny’s attorney however, would not divulge much. It seems it is up to the law to determine who is wrong in all of this. Fans will be please to know that Penny has already started doing work with the new kid in the block Moja Love-something she says she looks forward to exploring.